Post 9/11 Governments around the world have stepped up efforts to collate and investigate information on both foreign and domestic citizens. However, some of these surveillance programs, including a secret program called PRISM, capture the private data of citizens who are not necessarily suspected of any connection to terrorism or any wrongdoing.
But PRISM is not alone. While a lot has been written about the PRISM program, it’s widely unknown that a number of rogue states and non-state actors have developed their own version of PRISM, with which they target unsuspecting individuals and organizations the world over. These rogue states and non-state actors generally rely on Offensive Cyber Weapons to target their victims. This trend is widespread and is deeply worrying.
So, how best can we protect ourselves and our organizations from such cyber attacks?
Here are a few basic defensive steps that anybody can take right away:
- Protecting Smartphones - Turning off Bluetooth when we are not using it. Also, turning it off when we are speaking or entering sensitive information into our smartphone. Using a security software that’s tailor-made for smart phone security is also helpful.
- Encryption - Using encryption tools to encrypt the files and the hard drive of our computer.
- Blocking Malware – While a few Trojans and Worms may sneak into our PCs, even if we are using anti malware solutions, a combination of an effective firewall and anti malware software will safeguard us from most threats.
- Scanning Against Network Intruders - Using a Port Scanner to scan our network for any suspicious activity is a good start. These scanners investigate a specified range of IP addresses to uncover computers at each address, kind of like knocking on each door in the neighborhood to find out who is home.